I always admired the Tugu Negara (National Monument) whenever I saw it aired on the television. The picture of some huge tall bronze figures of soldiers standing looks very charming.
On Saturday — We went to visit my in-laws in Keramat, Kuala Lumpur. We were thinking of taking the bike but the day was so cloudy, and I could smell the rain was coming. We love to explore Kuala Lumpur on a bike because it is easier to hop from one place to another. Furthermore, the bike is very good at beating traffic jams in the city!
Not wanting to take the risk of getting my DSLR wet, we decided to take the Chevy. It started to drizzle when we were on our way to Keramat. However, when we reached my in-laws place, the light rain suddenly stopped. After having lunch with my in-laws, we decided to do something for our Kuala Lumpur – Explore It! project.
National Monument In The Rain
Amazingly, the Kuala Lumpur traffic was not really bad that day. So… we went to the Tugu Negara Kuala Lumpur near the Lake Gardens. Armed with my DSLR camera, I was ready to take the best shots of the National Monument. Unfortunately, the weather was not on my side that day. The sky was still dark and cloudy, and it was drizzling by the time we reached the Tugu Negara.
Despite the light rain, I still saw many tourists snapping photos and admiring the Tugu Negara. Most of them seems to be of Korean and China nationality. There were also some European, Indian and local tourists. The Tugu Negara’s huge tall bronze figures of soldiers standing and supporting their fallen comrades is definitely one of the must visit Kuala Lumpur attractions.
Almost all Malaysians have been to the Tugu Negara Kuala Lumpur at least once in their lifetime. However, not many know that the first Tugu Negara was not the one in the form of human figures but was a tall concrete column found within the present complex. On the column, you can see a clear record of dates of great human tragedy: First World War (1914-1918), Second World War (1939-1945) and the Emergency (1948-1960).
The original location of Tugu Negara was at Jalan Tugu, near the roundabout in front of the Kuala Lumpur railway station and opposite Masjid Negara. This is where the first Tugu Negara was set up by the British Administration to commemorate the wars and honour the fallen heroes. The first Tugu Negara base, a 10-square-metre flat grass-covered ground is still there. Obviously, it does not attract anyone’s attention.
When the present site was chosen for Tugu Negara, the column was moved there with a permanent base surrounded by a moat. You can see the names of fallen heroes on the column.
The present Tugu Negara complex in the Lake Gardens area was opened on Feb 8, 1966. It incorporated a Memorial Park as a symbol of the country’s gratitude to the fallen heroes. The RM1.5 million (human figures) monument within the complex is dedicated to the 11,000 people who died during the 12-year Emergency (1948-1960). The monument was the work of sculptor Felix de Weldon, who also did Washington’s Iwo Jima Monument.
The bronze soldiers, the pool with fountain, the crescent-shaped pavillion, the cenotaph and the gardens were all very fascinating. I felt a sense of tranquillity as I was admiring the Tugu Negara under the dark clouds and the light rain.
With such a gloomy background, the Tugu Negara photos that I snapped do not turned to be good as expected.
Colorful Emblems From Other Countries
I was walking back to the front gate when I saw a tourist standing still and looking up the ceiling of the pavilion. What was catching his attention? I joined him and was deligted to see the emblems of army from other countries pinned to the ceiling. It was a really amazing scene!
Before leaving the Tugu Negara Kuala Lumpur, I took my time to admire the Malaysia’s emblem as well as the other states’ emblems pinned to a decorative fence near the pool. You can to see the Malaysia’s states emblems closed-up pictures that I managed to take that day. There are 14 of them!
The Tugu Negara is considered the in the world. It went through extensive renovation in 1975 after it was damaged in an explosion set off by suspected communist terrorists. A sturdy fence was erected and the Tugu Negara complex was declared a protected area between sunset and dawn. You can only visit the National Monument from 7.00am to 6.00pm daily.
On the Warriors Day which falls on July 31 every year, the Tugu Negara would be the focus as the King, the Prime Minister and heads of military and police lay wreaths in remembrance of the fallen heroes.